It’s a messy, crowded twitter world. But don’t fret, this cheat sheet compiles the best accounts covering engineering-related topics. Follow these tweeters when you want to learn about new discoveries, surf the job market, or find inspiration.
For hot-out-of-the-oven science discoveries, private and public sector research and development centers are the best to follow. Phys.org @Physorg_com offers a consolidation of global news from these centers. The feed covers discoveries about engineering, chemistry, physics, and a host of other STEM related topics.
Naval Research Lab
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
If you crave an even fresher set of discoveries, it’s best to go straight to the White House. Fun follows include the Naval Research Lab @USNRL and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency @DARPA. These two government-funded labs post about robots, nanotechnologies, and other discoveries. Following these feeds makes you feel like you have a key to unlock a room labeled “top-secret government files.”
When Mars Curiosity was traveling through space, it tweeted. When it landed on Mars, it tweeted. And almost everyday this lovable, 1-ton robot tweets as if it is a homesick astronaut on a mission to explore and analyze Mars. That’s why Curiosity is one of the most popular robots on the twitter.
Besides its entertaining updates about eating soil and shooting lasers, an engineer can learn a lot about design by following @MarsCuriosity. The rover tweets about atmospheric conditions and topography, showing how good design withstands extreme conditions. One can also learn the importance of including “what if” solutions into design. For example, the Curiosity design team added clear dust covers to protect the rover’s 17 camera lenses. When Curiosity first landed, a dust cover was sprung open to take a substantially clearer picture.
Even though engineers know it all, they sometimes get lost in their own minds and end up with a bad case of designer block. A foolproof way to get back on track is to look for inspiration. It’s not always about reinventing the wheel, and if you have a penny-pinching purchasing department your designs definitely need to be clever and simple. Look at images of things found in nature, DIY projects, and a mix of architecture, art, and products to get back to basics. Twitter accounts that lead to these types of stimulating images include National Geographic @NatGeo, Instructables @instructables, and Designboom @designboom.
If visuals don’t do it for you, maybe a laugh will help you think clearly. Engineers seem to have strange problems. The seat-belt light turns on because your prototype is sitting in the passenger seat. You can’t play fetch with your dog because you’re distracted by the parting lines on the plastic ball. Join a community of like-minded individuals who share these quirky problems by searching hashtags #engineeringproblems or #engineerproblems. You are not alone!
Online technology publisher in Semiconductor and Photovoltaic industries. Generalist geek, technophile in Mill Valley, Calif.; 1,767 tweets, 274 following, 306 followers.
Tweets from the popular BBC program Top Gear in London; 4,443 tweets, 2,172 following, 666,072 followers.
Give yourself a pat on the back because you are in high demand. If you’re looking to find new opportunities to showcase your talents twitter can help you easily scroll the job market. Obvious feeds to follow are staffing agency boards like Aerotek’s @AerotekEngineer. Remember that individual headhunters on twitter can also be a great connection. Some of the best employers only hire through headhunters and staffing agencies. If you would like a career in product design, Core 77’s Coroflot @Coroflot is a great resource for creatives as well as engineers. Another method to find job opportunities is to search hashtags like #engineeringcareers, #engineeringjobs, or separate #engineering and #jobs.
Electronics development engineer in the U. K. interested in robots and planetary explorers; 1,415 tweets, 977 following, 685 followers.
Tweets from the editor/publisher of the Ten Links sites for CAD, CAM, and CAE online media; 838 tweets, 349 following, 1,262 followers.
This is the Twitter feed for the Machine Design Magazine blog area; 131 tweets, 2 following, 59 followers.
This is the feed from a Silicon Valley start-up that covers the electronics industry and in particular, monolithic 3D chips; 217 tweets, 1,995 following, 697 followers.
This is the manufacturer of linear-guide-wheel-related motion technologies. The feed shares news and videos of interest to engineers; 11,402 tweets, 3,193 following, 2,939 followers.
This is the official feed for the principal technical society for EEs; 2,165 tweets, 1,116 following, 15,169 followers.
Dr. Marc Perron authors a blog from Canada on FPGA technology and embedded software IP in power-electronics applications such as motor control and solar-power conversion; 205 tweets, 194 following, 440 followers.
The Electrical Engineering Portal in Europe is said to be one of the world’s largest professional Web portals for electrical science and education; 26,685 tweets, 14,447 following, 14,563 followers.